Monday 25 May 2015

Dog survives 150-foot fall from cliffs onto rocks in Cork

Louise Roseingrave

Published 02/05/2014 | 15:38

Emma Jervis with Bella after the rescue. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.
Emma Jervis with Bella after the rescue. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.
Emma Jervis with Bella after the rescue. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.
Emma Jervis with Bella after the rescue. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.
Emma Jervis with Bella after the rescue. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.
The cove in west Cork into which Bella fell - a drop of 150 feet. Picture: Emma Jervis
Bella's xray. Picture: Ellen O'Connor.

Coastguard volunteers rescued a family dog that survived a 150ft fall to rocks at the bottom of a steep coastal ravine.

Bella, a Staffordshire Terrier adopted from a rescue shelter, plummeted to rocks at Rabbit’s Cove in Glandore, west Cork.

The dog’s howls were heard by its owners as they searched for her on the cliff top.

Incredibly, the two-year-old Staffie suffered only a broken leg after falling the 150ft but the sea was high and darkness was falling.

Coastguard volunteers from the Toe Head-Glandore Unit swung into action following a frantic call for help issued by Bella’s owner, local photographer Emma Jervis.

“The situation was desperate. We got help from a local boat at Union Hall to try and access the cove at sea level but the swell was too high. We couldn’t even see her,” she said.

Emma and her partner Clo Reddin's hopes for their pet's survival were hanging by a thread as they returned to the cliff in tears.

Coastguard cliff and water rescue teams were tasked at 7.15pm as concerns mounted over dwindling daylight hours.

“The reason we go in a situation like this is that if we don’t go, the owner or another civilian might put their life at risk,” deputy officer in charge of Toe Head–Glandore Coastguard John O’Mahony said.

The Coastguard D-class inshore rescue boat was launched from Union Hall.

Lead by coxswain Carla Nugent-Mules, the crew managed to navigate the inlet’s rocky mouth to the shoreline where they scaled slippery rocks to reach the distraught dog.

Armed with treats, they gathered the whimpering Bella and carried her back to the boat.

Minutes later, the dog and her owners were reunited at Glandore Harbour.

“She wagged her tail and she was so happy to see us, it was such a huge relief, they were minding her so well,” said Emma.

The bewildered Bella was wrapped in blankets and whisked off to a waiting vet. The sensational pet Staffie suffered cuts, bruises and a broken femur but defied all expectations by surviving.

“Thanks to everyone who made a call, tweeted and shared the call for help and thanks especially to the Coastguard for rescuing her, they were amazing,” Emma said.

Officer in charge of Toe Head–Glandore Coastguard Richard Hurley said the rescue was a ‘valuable exercise’ despite its unusual nature.

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